Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Wylie East baseball snaps McKinney North win streak, takes 13-4A lead
WYLIE — Freshman first baseman Braden Shewmake singled home the winning run in the bottom of the sixth as Wylie East defeated McKinney North, 3-2, to take over sole possession of first place in District 13-4A and end McKinney North’s 15-game winning streak.
Wylie East (15-2-1, 6-0) is ranked No. 2 behind top-ranked McKinney North in SportsDay’s 4A area rankings and aiming for its first postseason playoff berth in its third varsity season. McKinney North (15-1, 5-1) is No. 7 in the state poll.
“With North playing as well as they do and us playing well, it was a big-game situation,” Wylie East coach Heath Andrews said. “I think there were a lot of nerves that showed, but we keep telling the players they could do it when they get their chance.”
After McKinney North sophomore lefty starter Gabe Constantine (4-1) retired the Nos. 3 and 4 hitters in the bottom of the sixth, Wylie East second baseman Mason Knapp lined his second double in the left-field gap. Shewmake, who had a two-run double to spark a victory over Royse City last Friday, stroked a solid single up the middle.
East junior right-hander Tyler Hughey (3-0) had three strikeouts over the final two innings without a runner to get to second. Hughey relieved junior lefty Garrett McCain, who struck out nine in five innings.
“We didn’t expect to walk in here and get an easy win,” McKinney North coach Jim Gatewood said. “[McCain] pitched well. We normally put the ball in play, and we didn’t against him. We battled back, which is what we’ve done all year. They were very emotional. I thought if we had gotten out of the sixth, we might have been able to come back and get it. We’re disappointed, but you have to give them credit.”
McKinney North tied the score at 2 in the top of the fifth. Catcher JT Stevenson got an infield single to score a run after two walks and a single by Anthony Herrera loaded the bases. An error on a grounder let in the tying run.
East took a 2-0 lead with a 380-foot triple by senior Jesse Brubaker sandwiched around a pair of McKinney North bobbles. The 6-4, 245-pound Brubaker may qualify as the state’s most noticeable center fielder. The Tulsa football signee showed a strong arm in addition to a powerful bat.
Coming off an early-season injury, Knapp led off the bottom of second with a double down the left-field line which glanced off McKinney North third baseman Chandler George’s glove.
North relied on its defense to hold East scoreless. Herrera took away a hit on a grounder up the middle for one out and teamed with first baseman Preston Spears to get the second out on a safety squeeze.
Both starters worked quickly as temperatures dropped to low 40s, and first three innings took just less than 45 minutes.